From the University of Florida/IFAS:
ONA, Fla. — Ranchers, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty and friends will gather Oct. 27 at the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center to celebrate the facility’s 75th anniversary of providing the best science for the cattle industry.
Among the scheduled speakers during the day’s festivities are Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources; John Arthington, director of the Range Cattle REC; Ned Waters, president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association; Erik Jacobsen of Deseret Cattle and Citrus; and Jim Strickland of Strickland Ranch.
Payne sees the Range Cattle REC as a facility that provides top-notch research data to ranchers in Florida and beyond.
“The Range Cattle REC has a long history of meeting the needs of Florida’s beef industry,” Payne said. “Our faculty in Ona study weeds, forage and ways ranchers can produce the best cattle for the market.”
Located in Hardee County, the Range Cattle REC was founded in 1941 through the efforts of UF faculty, legislators, cattlemen and citizens. The Range Cattle REC sits on 2,840 acres of native and improved pastures with about 700 head of cattle. Seven research and Extension faculty and 18 support staff work to find and provide the latest and best scientific data to Florida’s ranchers.
With two-thirds of Florida’s cattle in the southern half of the state, research at the Range Cattle REC is designed to serve the cattle industry in that area, although it helps with problems statewide. Range Cattle REC faculty conduct research and provide information to solve problems related to improving beef profits, forage and field crops and cattle production in central and southern Florida.
“Cattlemen in southern Florida face constantly changing economic and production challenges,” Arthington said. “The subtropical environment provides unique impacts on the owners and managers of grazinglands. Direct impacts include climatic influences, such as soil and water effects on forage and cattle production. Other impacts include control of invasive plants, use of locally available byproducts as animal feed supplements and the management of wildlife associated with our grazing landscapes.”
Research plans are developed with careful consideration of industry problems identified by cattlemen advisory groups, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Research Committee and Extension personnel throughout Florida.